The first Clicks and Mortar store launched today in central Manchester, with plans to roll out a total of ten pop-up shops in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands Yorkshire and across the South East.

Run in partnership with Enterprise Nation, Direct Line for Business and Square, the year-long pilot programme will explore a new model to help online businesses experience the high street while highlighting the benefits of combining in-store and online retail.

Each Clicks and Mortar concept store will provide customers with the opportunity to discover and buy a unique range of products from over 100 small businesses – everything from homeware and health and beauty products to food, drink and electronics. The up-and-coming UK brands have all built successful online businesses with the support of Amazon, and now have an opportunity to explore high street retail for the first time.

An independent research firm has also been commissioned to produce a detailed analysis of the pilot programme’s impact and will submit its findings to the Government, following the call for new ideas to inform the Future High Streets strategy.

“Small businesses are one of our most important customer groups, and we’re thrilled to work with Enterprise Nation to design a comprehensive package to help entrepreneurs across the UK grow their businesses, both in-store and online,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “From giving up-and-coming online British brands the chance to experience physical retail, to funding the training of full-time apprenticeships and helping to increase SME exports, Amazon is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses - helping them boost the economy and create jobs across the UK.”

In the UK, tens of thousands of small businesses now sell their products on Amazon, helping to support 80,000 UK jobs and achieving more than £2.5bn in export sales in 2018. In 2018, 58 per cent of physical gross merchandise sales via Amazon came from third-party businesses.

To support the launch of Clicks and Mortar, Amazon will also help small businesses upskill their workforce through a new £1m fund to train over 150 full-time apprentices on how to increase small business productivity and boost online sales.

And free digital training at Amazon Academy event across the UK will be made available to help small businesses succeed in the digital economy, in particular by boosting export sales and reaching customers around the world.